Lockwood, Gary

Lockwood, Gary
(1937– )
   John Gary Yusolfsky was born on February 21, 1937 in Van Nuys, California. As Gary Lockwood, he portrayed Frank Poole in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Gary Lockwood began his career as a stuntman and as a stand-in for Anthony Perkins; he then got second leads in such films as Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass (1961). He gained more recognition in the TV series The Lieutenant (1963–1964) and a few years later, when STANLEY KUBRICK chose him to play an astronaut in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
   In the central section of the film, David Bowman (KEIR DULLEA) and Frank Poole realize, in the course of their journey to Jupiter aboard the spacecraft Discover y, that HAL-9000, the computer that controls the Discovery, has decided that they are not competent to carry out their mission, and hence he should proceed without them. Douglas Brode writes that HAL (voiced by DOUGLAS RAIN) can approximate the functions of the human brain, including speech; what’s more, HAL seems to possess the emotions lacking in the two astronauts. “They are Ivy League, cleancut zombies, more machine-like than the machine. ” Thus Poole, lying languidly under a sunlamp and wearing tinted sunglasses, appears totally disinterested in the birthday greetings sent to him via videophone by his parents back on Earth. Recalling the filming of the scenes aboard the spacecraft, Lockwood told Jill Bernstein that the most impressive thing about the Discovery set was “the huge wheel [the centrifuge] that Vickers Aircraft made” for the film. The centrifuge, 38 feet high, was like a rotating Ferris wheel which had desks, consoles, and bunks built into it for the astronauts. In the first sequence, which features the centrifuge, Poole is seen jogging around it, shadow-boxing. Jeremy Bernstein notes that Lockwood appears to be “jogging around the complete interior circumference of the centrifuge” in a 360-degree circle. When he asked Kubrick how he achieved this effect, which defies the laws of gravity, the director refused to tell him. He did tell Bernstein why he had Poole’s exercising accompanied by a Chopin waltz, however-Kubrick thought an intelligent man in 2001 might well choose Chopin for doing his exercises to music.
   Kubrick directed these scenes from outside the centrifuge set, employing a closed-circuit television monitor. In fact, there were certain shots that did not allow for a camera operator inside the centrifuge; in those cases Lockwood or Dullea would have to start the camera and then proceed to play the scene, once the camera was rolling.
   When Poole and Bowman have reason to believe that their presumably infallible computer has made a technological error, HAL cannot accept the evidence of his own fallibility. The domineering computer accordingly determines to eliminate Poole and Bowman as stumbling blocks to the accomplishment of “his” mission. In short, HAL suffers a nervous breakdown and aims to cover up his error by killing Poole and Bowman, the witnesses of his failure.
   Poole goes outside the Discovery in a space capsule in order to examine the surface of the spacecraft for a flaw. While he is outside, the space pod, which has been standing by, suddenly moves toward him without warning and severs his air hose with its doublejointed mechanical arms—thereby catapulting him off into infinite space. HAL, of course, has engineered the space module’s lethal action against Poole in order to get rid of him.
   When Bowman realizes what HAL has done, he is aware that the “almost human” computer has gone off “the neurotic deep end,” as Hollywood journalist Herb Lightman puts it: HAL is a menace and must be put out of commission. Lockwood states in VINCENT LOBRUTTO’s book on Kubrick that he and Keir Dullea were never given a complete script by Kubrick during the shooting period: “There was a lot that was going on that we weren’t supposed to know. ” Hence Lockwood did not know why HAL went haywire and had Poole liquidated, because this information was not revealed in the pages of the screenplay he received.
   “Scenes of the astronauts floating weightlessly in space outside the Discovery,” Lightman writes, “and especially those showing Gary Lockwood tumbling off into infinity after he was murdered by the vengeful computer,” required some tricky special effects. Indeed, Kubrick told Lightman that he was at pains to see to it that none of the wires supporting the actor would show. Consequently, Kubrick had the ceiling of the entire soundstage draped with black velvet curtains, and he photographed Lockwood from below, so that his own body would hide the wires by which he was suspended from the ceiling. “The pod was suspended from the ceiling also,” Kubrick said, so that the effect on the screen was that the pod moved toward Poole to attack him. Lockwood enjoyed working with Kubrick, who would take the blame for a scene that was not going well. He remembers the scene in which he and Dullea attempted to discuss HAL’s malfunction without HAL eavesdropping on their conversation. Lockwood told Jill Bernstein, “The scene wasn’t going well, and I spilled coffee all over everything. ”Kubrick was actually relieved, because it gave him the chance to wrap things up for the day and have time “to figure out what the hell to do” to fix the scene. Lockwood was involved in the shoot from February through September 1966. When principal photography was over, Kubrick spent several months working on the special effects, and the film did not open until the spring of 1968. Meanwhile Lockwood appeared in some lackluster movies like The Model Shop (1969), about a disillusioned Los Angeles architect.
   William Woodfield, who had been still photographer on SPARTACUS, had become a television producer, most notably of Mission Impossible. He made an attempt to cash in on the success of 2001 by suggesting to ABC-TV a series entitled Earth II, starring Gary Lockwood as an astronaut. When ABC asked Kubrick for the miniature spacecrafts and scale models of the space stations that had been used in 2001, they were told that he could only provide them with some sketches for the special effects, because the models and miniatures had been destroyed after filming. Woodfield soldiered on, however, and cowrote a feature-length pilot for the series, which starred Gary Lockwood and Anthony Franciosa as astronauts. But ABC-TV lost interest in doing the series, and so on November 21, 1972, Earth-II was broadcast as a made-for-TV movie. Carolyn Geduld calls it “a conscious imitation of 2001,” which takes place on 2001’s space station, with “footage, effects, and plot structure strikingly similar to 2001. ” Lockwood’s career never really took off after 2001, and he continued to make rather ordinary fare like the cop movie The Wild Pair (1987), costarring and directed by Beau Bridges. Lockwood’s last film, Night of the Scarecrows (1995), is a routine horror flick. Lockwood was married once (1966–1974), to TV actress Stefanie Powers.
   ■ Bernstein, Jeremy, “Profile: Stanley Kubrick,” in Stanley Kubrick: Interviews, ed. Gene Phillips (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001),pp. 21+;
   ■ Bernstein, Jill, et al. , “Stanley Kubrick: A Cinematic Odyssey,” Premiere 12, no. 7 (August 1999): pp. 85+;
   ■ Brode, Douglas, The Films of the Sixties (New York:Carol, 1993);
   ■ Lightman,Herb,“Filming 2001: A Space Odyssey,” in The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, ed. Stephanie Schwam (New York: Modern Library, 2000), pp. 94+;
   ■ LoBrutto, Vincent, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (New York: Da Capo, 1999).

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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